Bristol Freighter at Nui Dat, circa 1968-1969

Bristol 170 Freighter of 41 Squadron, RNZAF at Nui Dat during one of its weekly supply flights from Singapore, circa 1968-1969.

Bristol's were often refered to as 'forty thousand rivets flying in formation' due to their age, speed, and noise. The RNZAF used them for many years.


Image courtesy Brian Edmonds

How to cite this page: 'Bristol Freighter at Nui Dat ', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 28-Apr-2011


I remember one of these landing at Nui Dat in 1971. It was quite a surprise to see it land. Initially I heard the sound of the engines first. It was not a sound I was used to, but it was familiar to me. I was at the open air concert area at the Luscombe Bowl, situated under the flight path. The eastern end of the runway ended in a rubber plantation and that was cleared away from the threshold.

I live in Launceston Tasmania. During my school days I lived under the flight path for flights from Launceston to Melbourne, about 15 km NW of Launceston Airport. Ansett-ANA and TAA had Bristol frieghters in service. Their engine sound was very different to the Pratt and Whitneys of the DC3, DC4 and DC6. I would see them flying to Melbourne in their slow ponderous way. When they were flying into Launceston over the top of where I lived, the pilot would select fine pitch and the motors increased their RPM. I became aware of Bristol Frighters again after seeing videos of them in NZ posted on YouTube.